Monday, August 31, 2009
My Porsche 911, Part I -- when it was brown!
OK, so let me start telling you the story of my Porsche 911, from the beginning. Note, my car no longer looks like depicted in the above two photographs. For several years now it is a far more pleasant Irish green, rather than the "shit" brown you see in those photos. But even in those photos there is distortion, for the car didn't look nearly THAT good when I brought it home. For a time I called it "Lazarus," as I had enough vanity to think I could raise it from the dead. Now I call it "Legion", for the many demons it has. For more details of the kind of mechanical and body exorcism I am talking about, see Mark 5.
Why I wanted a Porsche is somewhat of a mystery unto itself. Perhaps it was due to a tin toy that I had as a young child. It was a Porsche 356 Cabriolet, Cerulean blue with a red interior. It came from Germany, and had the weirdest remote control by cable steering mechanism. You attached a cable to the toy's steering wheel, and then steer remotely -- sort of. It had red rims and white sidewalls, and I loved playing with it. The same toy today sells in flea markets in Germany or on Ebay for between 500 and 700 Euros. I also admired Porsches while in College. I remember going to a Porsche dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina, on East Independence Blvd. looking at an Irish green 356 coupe. Relative poverty, a marriage, and some tough years kept that dream at bay until the mid-1990s.
So maybe it follows that I would seek out and buy a Porsche at the beginning of my first sabbatical in early 1996. Some men might lose their heads over women, but I do things equally as stupid during a car purchase. And in this case it was a doozy, as I brought home a somewhat running, brown 1971 Porsche targa that was worn out, had some critical rust issues, and also had an undercarriage that had parts of it covered in a stony tar-like substance, sort of like the car had been driven into a tar pit. When the flat bed unloaded the car in my driveway -- a car I had paid far too much for and without an inspection -- my foolishness was definitely confirmed. I might have a Ph.D from Johns Hopkins, but that does not mean I have any cool logic or rationality at certain times.
This story will continue in the next several posts!!